Backcountry Extreme Fishing Forecast – December

Seasons change and so should your fishing strategies. The mullet run is all but over. Now, our favorite game fish have changed up their food to eating shrimp and crustaceans. Along with the food chain change up, the cooler temperatures cause water clarity to clear up. A few strategy changes in your approach to fishing should start with downsizing your baits – instead of a 4” shrimp imitation, throw a 3” bait. Slow down your retrieval to an ultra-slow presentation. Use this approach to all your bait selections. The presentation should be slowed down even more if temperatures fall into the 40-degree and 50-degree temperature ranges.

The next strategy change should be to lengthen your fluorocarbon leaders and downsize the pound test with clear water conditions. This guide prefers a leader between 7’ to 8’ in length (IGFA al- lows 15 feet maximum). The last change should be your approach to the area where you want to fish. Keep boat noises down to a minimum and try using the wind to set up drifts, or keep your troll- ing motor on the lowest power possible. Also try not to start and stop the trolling motor too much.

Darker bottom warms earliest in the morning, look for spotted sea trout and redfish to warm themselves in the grass waiting for a crab or shrimp to cruise by. Salt and pepper grass flats with potholes of sand are areas to work slowly and methodical. When the day gets warmer, look for fish in slightly deeper water yet still close to the flats. Swash channels that connect the flats to deeper water are best bets. Trout can stack up on cold days – good luck fishing! Recommended: baits: DOA Shrimp, DOA Crabs, 3” DOA Cal tails on a 1/4oz. jig head, gold spoons. Tight Lines